Man pleads guilty on federal gun possession charge

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By Chris Sardelli

COLUMBIA – A Lancaster man faces at least 15 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to a gun possession charge Thursday, May 2.

William I. Satterwhite, 52, pleaded guilty in federal court to being a felon in possession of a firearm, a violation of the federal Title 18 law, according to a press release from U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles.

Nettles said U.S. District Judge Cameron McGowan Currie accepted the plea and will impose a sentence after she has reviewed the pre-sentence report, which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.

Evidence presented at Satterwhite’s change of plea hearing showed that on Feb. 23, 2010, he sold a gun at a local pawn shop. 

A detective with the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office, who was familiar with Satterwhite’s criminal history, discovered the gun sale during a routine review of pawn tickets, and notified the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the release said. 

Due to a previous Florida conviction for robbery and three convictions for burglary in South Carolina, Satterwhite is prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms and/or ammunition, the release said. 

Satterwhite faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison and a maximum of life imprisonment and/or a fine of $250,000 on the charge, Nettles said. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Nancy C. Wicker of the Columbia office handled the case.

The case was investigated by ATF agents and the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office.

“We are extremely pleased that the interagency cooperation in this case led to this plea,” said Lancaster County Sheriff Barry Faile. “We have arrested him multiple times in (the) past and it’s good to get repeat offenders like him off the street.”

Satterwhite is listed as a defendant for 10 criminal charges dating back to 2007 in the 6th Judicial Circuit, which covers Lancaster County, according to the S.C. Judicial Department online database. 

One of those charges, for second-degree burglary, is still pending following an April 2009 arrest, per judicial records. In that case, he was released from jail on a $20,000 surety bond the same day as his arrest. 

He also pleaded guilty in March 2009 to multiple charges stemming from two arrests in 2007. 

Per judicial records, he received a seven-year suspended sentence, plus time served and five years of probation, for second-degree burglary and two counts of receiving stolen goods more than $1,000 and less than $5,000. 


 Contact reporter Chris Sardelli at (803) 416-8416